Understanding Healthy Eating
Children will examine personal eating habits while applying self-monitoring skills.
The educator will observe children’s demonstrated knowledge and understanding of concepts related to making healthy eating choices.
4-6 low impact balls (e.g., beach ball), Markers, Poster paper, Various pictures of possible student lunches (consider one per group)
The educator draws a generic outline of a child on the board (example: gingerbread cookie appearance) and explains to children the importance of being aware of their eating habits:
- to feel great (draws a smile)
- to maintain balanced energy levels (draws a heart)
- to have a positive mood (draws a brain)
Using the Think, Pair, Share Strategy, have children explore reasons why self-monitoring food choices is important, for example:
- appropriate portion size
- variety of food groups
- appropriate serving size
- activity level
- family values
- personal preferences
- healthy growth and development etc.
Record children’s responses for reference throughout the activity.
Explain that people who are more active may require more servings from one or more of the food groups from Canada’s Food Guide than people who are not as active. For example, in the spring and summer, children may be playing outdoors more often or for longer, and may need to eat more and drink more water to stay healthy and active.
Highlight for children that they should also eat according to their hunger cues (e.g., eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full).
Working in small groups, each group receives a picture of a generic child’s lunch (e.g., tuna wrap, apple, cookies, and an orange juice box).
Children think critically to identify
- what food groups from Canada’s Food Guide are present in the lunch
- whether the serving sizes are appropriate for a child their age
- whether they believe the lunch is healthy
- what can make the lunch healthier
Working in pairs, children reflect and identify a favourite meal they have had, or one they have seen/heard of and would like to have.
In pairs, children respond to the same questions, identifying the variety of food groups present in the meal, whether each serving size is appropriate, whether they believe the meal is healthy, and what can make it healthier.
Working in small groups of 4-6, children stand in a circle with one child holding a low impact ball. The child holding the ball will suggest ideas that can help them and their classmates use self-monitoring to make healthy food choices. After they provide their suggestion they call the name of another child before throwing them the ball. The new child now provides their answer, before they call a name and throw.
Consider asking the following questions for children to reply to:
- What do you need to do to ensure you listen to your body to make healthier food choices?
- What happens when you eat too little or too much food?
- What happens when you don’t eat certain food groups?